Two cool things for this week's Brian & Gabe LIVE show. First, we were joined by Kevin Goodman, eight-time BriForum speaker, founder of RTO Software and creator of VMware's "Persona" product.
Two cool things for this week's Brian & Gabe LIVE show. First, we were joined by Kevin Goodman, eight-time BriForum speaker, founder of RTO Software and creator of VMware's "Persona" product. The second cool thing is that we discussing Microsoft's Windows 8 strategy, including tablets, Metro, ARM processors, and how they hope to compete in the enterprise. For more on these subjects, check out Brian's article from yesterday: Microsoft releases details about Windows 8 on ARM (WOA) tablets, confirms it's safe for enterprises to keep buying iPads.
We debated what place the WOA tablet (or even WOA desktops!) will have in the enterprise, taking into consideration the influence of the developer community, as well as the lack of desktop UI access (unless you're Microsoft). The manageability of WOA tablets brought the show around to the subject of mobile device management.
As always, there was a lot that we didn't get to—which means that there's a lot to look forward to next week.
Brian Madden: Good morning on Tuesday, February 14, 2012.
Gabe Knuth: A special Valentine’s Day edition.
Brian Madden: A very special edition. You’re listening to “Brian & Gabe Live.” I am in San Francisco along with Jack Madden, also in San Francisco.
Jack Madden: Good morning, and good afternoon to those of you not in San Francisco.
Brian Madden: Thank you for allowing us to start later. Gabe Knuth, you’re joining us from your home in Omaha, Nebraska.
Gabe Knuth: Hello.
Brian Madden: And joining us from his car outside of a Starbucks somewhere in the greater Atlanta area, we’re very excited to welcome Kevin Goodman.
Kevin Goodman: Hi, guys. Will work for food, or coffee, as it were.
Brian Madden: I was going to start today with sort of an introduction. Kevin, you’ve spoken at eight BriForums or something like that. You created RTO Software. You created the TScale product and licensed that to Citrix. You created a virtual profiles product, which you licensed to Semantic, and then you should the majority of your company outright to VMware, and you joined VMware. I was going to start with all those things. Rather, I would like to start with what the hell are you doing in your car outside of Starbucks, with your laptop on I might add.
Kevin Goodman: I’m doing well. There was a big storm last night. I woke up this morning and had no TV, no phone, no internet. You know, that’s the problem we get in that one bundle price. Everything went down, apparently. I didn’t want to take a chance that it wouldn’t be back up before I had to go on live and talk with you folks, so off to the Starbucks I went.
Brian Madden: Now you’re running off a battery too, so we may lose you toward the end.
Kevin Goodman: You know, I could always walk in. The Starbucks people are eyeing me. I could walk in and get a refill on the latte and then plug in.
Brian Madden: If a cop comes and knocks on your window, push record on your camera.
Gabe Knuth: Just so we can see it.
Brian Madden: There’s a couple of things I want to talk about today, Windows 8 on ARM specific. I want to know what the hell Jack is doing with a BlackBerry tablet. I also want to, Kevin, start with you.
First of all, there was a rumor on Twitter last week that you are no longer with VMware.
Gabe Knuth: The fact that he’s living in his car right now outside of a Starbucks.
Kevin Goodman: Hold on. Let me address that rumor, but—excuse me, sir. Do you have a quarter? Thank you. All right. I’m back.
Yeah, so I think Ruben Spruijt started that rumor. Ruben and I were working on the Smackdown guide the beginning of February. Then I left VMware on February 3. There are so many loose ends to tie up. I didn’t get a chance to tie up a loose end. That was one of those “get the quote approved from me.”
You’ve seen the Smackdown guide. When we were out at VMware, I was out in front of customers. They asked, “You’re a wonderful salesman, but have you got any third-part confirmation of how well your stuff does?” I said, “I’d start with Smackdown guide and at least go from there at the beginning of any virtualization journey.”
So I gave that exact quote to Ruben. Because it was going to have my VMware name on there, he went on to say, “Do you approve?” You’re director of product management saying this stuff. I forgot to get the note out to him that I was leaving, so all of a sudden he’s like, “Ah! Goodman’s not there anymore. I heard it directly from VMware corporate.” I watched Twitter just blow up. It was nice to get the calls from all the people.
The non-compete is two years with VMware. They bought most of the assets of RTO Software back in February of 2010. Brian, I know you were a math major. That comes out right on two years there, if I’m not mistaken.
Brian Madden: Funny how that worked out. Now you live in Atlanta, so you’re back in Atlanta right now. What’s next for you?
Kevin Goodman: Short term, when someone at this level leaves and organization, it’s not a clean break. Right now we’re still negotiating, so don’t ask me to say any bad things about any of my former employers until we finish all that paperwork. Once that paperwork is done, if it doesn’t go to my liking, feel free to find out where all the bodies are buried. No.
Brian Madden: Man, not-working-for-a-big-company Kevin is so much cooler than working-for-a-big-company Kevin.
Kevin Goodman: The truth is that working in an industry that is going this fast, at a pace with the competition that you have in virtualization right there, the opportunities that you have, the sense of urgency that you feel in an organization like that, will really drive you nuts.
Two years of being on the road. Of course, Brian is going to play a violin because he flies more than I do. About 150,000 miles a year on Delta gets old pretty quickly, so I’m going to recharge the batteries. You’ll see me doing something here soon.
Brian Madden: Didn’t you retire once like five years ago? Or ten years ago?
Kevin Goodman: Yeah. RTO Software was the second startup that I started. I had another one previously that went public as Docucorp International. By the time it went public, I had a very small piece of it. It was enough for me to decide that I was going to sit back and recharge the batteries as well.
I think during that period is when I wrote the book Building Windows ’95 Applications and a Windows NT developers guide.
Brian Madden: Of course. That book. Yes.
Kevin Goodman: You know, you can still find that on Amazon if you want. Last time I checked, it was 63 cents used.
Brian Madden: I’m saying this is a book that I would not be able to get into the first three pages before it’s over my head, and I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.
Kevin Goodman: I’ll tell you what, Brian. A little bit of experience I have back there as a developer is going to play well into our Windows 8 strategy. I read what Sinofsky said. I read your take on it. one of the things to talk about when we get to that subject today is I think you’re missing a developer aspect of what Microsoft is trying to do with their Windows 8 strategy.
From the outset, and looking from the outside, you might think the concept of having these two-tablet architectures and stuff like that would be very confusing. If you look at it from another angle—and let’s face it. Sinofsky is a developer. He’s the guy that first did the Microsoft Foundation class libraries, which was Microsoft’s first foray into C++ way back in the early ‘90s. This guy is pretty long in the tooth and knows what makes Windows so successful.
Hey, Gabe. Do you remember we were trying to decide how many businesses Microsoft had that were over $1 billion?
Gabe Knuth: Yeah. It was seven, right?
Kevin Goodman: Well, it’s 12. One of the ones we forgot was Visual Studio.
Brian Madden: Oh, right.
Kevin Goodman: Visual Studio does $1 billion. Brian, think about this. Let’s take all the ISVs today that are doing—
Brian Madden: Yeah, $1 billion.
Kevin Goodman: Well, let’s take all the ones that are using Visual Studio to write Windows apps. They’d have to be paying $1 million each in order to get $1 billion, so it’s got to be somebody else. Somebody else has got to be buying this product. Who is buying it at those numbers is internal IT staff. They’re internal IT apps.
Gabe Knuth: So it’s internal IT staff, but then didn’t we just realize—Brian, didn’t you make the note that it has to be sold through the Windows store, or apps have to be sold through the Windows store to run on ARM-based Windows? If so much of the applications are being developed in house, doesn’t that kind of cut into their revenue?
Brian Madden: No. Internal companies will be able to have sort of their own private connection into the official Windows store. The apps they put into the Windows store will only be available to the people they specific.
Gabe Knuth: But it has to be Metro, right? It can’t be a desktop application?
Brian Madden: Let’s back up. First of all, Kevin, great segue into the topic of conversation today. Let’s back up a little bit and just kind of level. I don’t know if everyone has come up to speed yet with what Sinofsky’s announcement was.
Last week, Sinofsky wrote an 8,000-word blog post that detailed the Microsoft Windows 8 strategy for the ARM processor. We knew a year ago that Microsoft was going to be making Windows on ARM, but they didn’t really announce a lot of details. Jack, you wrote stuff, and I had stuff in the past few months about what are they going to do?
This blog post was kind of the blog post that answered all the questions. The quick overview is that Windows on ARM is WOA, like whoa! It’s going to be like another family of Windows. We have Windows Mobile, Windows Embedded, all these things. It’s just another family of Windows. It’s only going to be available for people to buy the ARM devices new, so you won’t be able to download Windows on ARM. You can’t install it. You can’t buy a Linus tablet running ARM and get a copy for Windows to install. It’s going to be pre-installed, so it’s going to be a lot more like Windows Mobile or IOS in that sense.
As you said, Gabe, correct. It will only run apps from the official Windows store, so no going online and downloading your own apps and plugging them in or anything like that. the catch is that the Windows store—individuals and companies are able to plug in to the Windows store and have their own sort of private apps in the Windows store that are not exposed to the public.
Gabe Knuth: That makes sense.
Jack Madden: Then there was a desktop app limitation too.
Brian Madden: Here’s where it gets crazy. Sinofsky mentioned—my chat window disappeared here. Stand by.
Jack Madden: Chat tango. Nobody say anything. You’re not missing anything.
Brian Madden: First of all, there’s no virtualization, no emulation, no porting, no nothing, so it’s going to be only Metro apps, only apps from the Windows store, and you’re not allowed to port or make any sort of crazy—bring in old apps or virtualization or whatever.
But the big question was—remember that Metro is this new UI for Windows. The question is when we talked about Windows 8 in a preview, there was the Metro UI, and there was the traditional desktop UI. It’s almost like program manager in Explorer is now whatever Metro starting and the traditional desktop.
What’s interesting is that with Windows 8 on ARM, Sinofsky said that it’s all Metro, Metro-only apps, except they are going to include a desktop mode. He said the desktop mode doesn’t add any overhead, so of course why take it away? People have been using PCs and Windows for years, and they’re used to choice and everything. He even said, “Some people said we were going to make a cut from the desktop mode and do away with it completely, but if we can have it with no additional overhead, then why not include it?” I’m like, “Okay. That makes sense. I’m down with that.”
Here’s the catch, though. The desktop mode, no one is allowed to put apps in that desktop mode. Not even the private developers for the Windows store can create their brand-new Metro apps and put those into the Metro side of things. Developers are not even going to be allowed to create ARM-based desktop apps to run in the desktop.
So this desktop mode, there’s only like four apps that are in it. It’s going to be desktop Internet Explorer, the control panel, desktop File Explorer—Windows Explorer—and Office 15. But what’s weird is no one can add anything. The Internet Explorer 10 that comes on the desktop mode is going to have no plugins.
Gabe Knuth: This sounds like it was back in the day with Windows NT. We had—what was it? MIPS, Alpha and PowerPC as well. It was only a niche solution because there weren’t any apps that ran on them. It was just a few people occasionally that would run them for whatever niche reason they had.
Brian Madden: But at least they could write apps if they wanted to.
Gabe Knuth: That’s true.
Brian Madden: It’s crazy. Microsoft says, “People want to do advanced tasks like advanced file manipulation.”
Jack Madden: Like maybe we should be thankful that in the touch face interface device that, like, “At least they gave us a real file manager, even if it’s not designed for the interface.”
Brian Madden: Yeah. They do point out that the Windows tablets, even the Windows on ARM tablets, are going to allow printers to plug in, mass storage, and hard drives. It’s still Windows, so you want a real file manager there.
Gabe Knuth: So we half-ass this, and here’s our old solution that doesn’t work really well, and you should be happy that you have that. That’s what Jack’s like. “We should be happy that we have a file manager, even if it’s not optimized for the device that we’re on.” That’s crap, man. If they want it to be there, it should be there. It should be optimized. It should be ready there for touch and not just running as a Windows desktop off to the side that you can’t do anything else with.
Kevin Goodman: Microsoft knows that developers are what rule the day. Going back even farther when Windows NT came out, the battle ahead with OS2 back in the day was won because you could get a free SDK and start writing Windows apps, and to get an OS2 SDK, you had to contact the same rep that sold you your IBM mainframe. “What? A $200.00 SDK or a $2 million mainframe? I’ll call you back.” You didn’t even know the skew of it, whereas all you had to do—this shows you how old I am—all you had to do was send a CompuServe to Microsoft, and they’d send an SDK in the mail.
If you can get these developers to say, “Wow. This is where we can go. We can do it half-assed first to get it up and working, but you’re not going to have to retrain me.” That’s what the CIO doesn’t want to have to do in this big, large IT shops. “What? I’m looking at all this retraining to do Objective C so I can get our corporate iPad up and running? Or I can maybe get up and going with the same C++ that they’re using. Then we’re up and running.
Let’s face it. The other thing they have to get to is not just the internal guys. They’re going to have to get the ecosystem to play along. I can imagine you’re going to see a Mozilla version out for Metro. You know Citrix is going to have to come out with a client for it. The big piece there is everybody knows that no matter how good Citrix can do their clients, the mouse and keystroke applications don’t translate well to these tablets. You’ve got to get the developers to change and make them specific to those devices.
Gabe Knuth: We’ve been referring to tablets. Brian, in your post in reaction to this, you were talking about tablets. In that blog post, they talk about ARM PCs far more often than they talk about tablets. I feel like Microsoft’s vision for this is larger than tablets. I think it’s just putting that system on a chip that makes up the ARM platform into whatever devices make sense.
I feel like we can compare this stuff and talk about it in the context of tablets, but I feel like we’re also not throwing out keyboards and mice at this point. It looks like there’s going to be ARM PCs. They specifically refer to ARM PCs, and then later refer to the fact that they will also have ARM tablets and x86 or x64 tablets. I think PCs are still in the mix, even ARM-based ones.
Brian Madden: So PCs, you mean a device with a keyboard and mouse.
Gabe Knuth: Yeah. The same thing that’s under your desk right now, but without the typical motherboard, processor, video card, all that stuff. Just an ARM sock or Windows 8 running it.
Brian Madden: I use a MacBook Air. I guess I could say I use an Ultra Book form factor device.
Gabe Knuth: That’s trademarked.
Brian Madden: They’ll charge me $200.00 for saying that. So maybe if Windows is Windows, Windows 8 on ARM is still Windows. It can still run real apps and real Office. If that gives me a device that—
Gabe Knuth: But it can’t. You have to have the apps for it. Windows on ARM is still limited. It’s not the tablets that are limited to Metro-only apps from the Windows store and desktop apps that you can’t buy. So the same limitations still apply. It’s just that those limitations are much more broad considering that it runs on a desktop form factor as well.
Kevin Goodman: What came into my head when I saw that was that all those ARM devices are going to have touchscreens. Even the ARM PCs. You just might have a 19-inch touchscreen on that.
Jack Madden: Kevin, that’s exactly what I was thinking. Otherwise, you have device without a touchscreen and no desktop apps for it. What are you going to do with it?
Brian Madden: You can use a mouse with Metro.
Jack Madden: Then you just have to move the mouse farther because the buttons are bigger and farther apart.
Brian Madden: Every single person who downloads the Windows community preview next week is going to be using a mouse for Metro, right?
Gabe Knuth: Absolutely. I used the developer edition already in Fusion. It’s the same. You still have a keyboard and mouse with Metro. It’s no different than anything else, really. You’re right. We go to touch instantly. That’s partly because Microsoft is talking about touch. Unfortunately, I’m using Brian’s paraphrase versions because they’re much easier to remember.
Office has been sort of touchified, but it’s still basically a desktop app. Even Microsoft is talking about touch as being the focus here, but I don’t think that all the stuff we’re talking about is limited to only tablets. I think that PCs are also going there with keyboards and mice, just like normal. They are going to be low-cost solutions, integrated solutions, almost thin clients, basically, that run Windows 8 that people can use in the enterprise.
Conceptually I like that, but the limitations are still important there. I feel like they have to be there because we’re talking about ARM and not Intel. Not being able to run desktop apps without some sort of translation or something, that’s going to happen no matter what if you’re talking about ARM. The fact that you’re not going to be able to go buy the ARM versions of software or something to run on these devices, that’s kind of limiting in my mind.
Brian Madden: Let’s put this desktop mode to bed. The thing about the desktop mode that’s interesting to me is it just is a little bit disingenuous from Microsoft. In Sinofsky’s post, he asked why it’s Metro only. He said, “Look, Metro is the future of these devices. They’re made for touch. This is the new—Win/RT is the new Microsoft going forward. Developers just need to stop whining and just work on their apps for Metro because that’s the future. They just need to do that and suck it up, which is something we couldn’t do ourselves.”
Ed Bott wrote that he feels the reason there’s this desktop mode in there is just because there’s too many features. Like, all the internet security options are IE options. All the control panel options, parental controls, all this stuff, the advanced firewall, networking configuration. The fact that Office itself is something that they could obviously not rewrite in Win/RT, and they had to go with the desktop one, although they did sort of streamline Office to run to be more respectful to power and the CPU limitations of an ARM device. They also added some more touch-type capabilities to Office, but it’s still desktop-mode Office.
It’s so weird for Microsoft to be saying to all these partners out there that you cannot—you know, “Suck it up. Stop your bitching, and move over to the Win/RT Metro platform. Except we, of course, could not have done that ourselves, so we’re going to cheat over here, but you guys can’t do that.”
That’s the first thing. If I’m a developer, it just makes me bitter. You already know what I think of Microsoft from last week. This is just adding more items to my shit list about Microsoft right now.
Gabe Knuth: It feels like when Apple switched over from OSIX to OSX, I feel like that was a controlled crash, right? I feel like there was ample warning, and the developers were on board, and they gave people the ability with that—what was it, the Rosetta?
Brian Madden: The Rosetta was PowerPC to Intel.
Gabe Knuth: That’s right. Was it Coco?
Brian Madden: Carbon to Cocoa I think was OSX. The difference is that whatever Apple did, they played by their own rules. This is Microsoft saying that no one is allowed to develop desktop apps for Windows on ARM expect for us. Controlled crash or not, the fact that they’re making an exception for themselves—like if they can’t get their shit together, how is it fair that they expect all the developers to get their shit together.
Gabe Knuth: That’s what I mean. Apple pulled off a similar feat. If you ask the developers, they’ll be like, “Yeah. That was a train wreck,” but it pretty much worked. The flexibility was still there. People had the ability to develop apps for the new platform and the old platform, or both. That doesn’t exist now.
Brian Madden: This is a train wreck.
Kevin Goodman: The proof in the pudding will be if you start seeing beta of Metro apps. Brian, you brought up Win/RT. So the Windows run time, ability to write in C#, C++, Visual Basic, whatever, and have it talk to this API that goes ahead and abstracts a device from you, the key will be if that does, in fact, work to the point where it’s easy to convert these apps.
If you start seeing—I think I even saw an announcement. Of course you’re going to see a Mozilla, but if you see Adobe Reader and all of these betas come out that tell you that what Sinofsky’s saying is correct and it is an easy port—and obviously you’re going to see IE 10. The things people are going to want to have on this tablet in order to make it work are the applications. Is Facebook going to have an app? Is LinkedIn going to have an app? Are you going to have an RSA app? Am I going to be able to do my secure ID and two-factor authentication through this tablet?
Brian Madden: Even BlackBerry has those apps, so I’m sure those apps will be on this thing. The question to what you were saying about developers is if you’ve got a Visual Studio developer who has been working on their apps for 15 years, all their in-house apps—I don’t know, Kevin, if you know enough about this. Do you feel like for them it will be a baby step, be pretty easy for them to keep on using their existing environment, their existing method of operation to just sort of continue down that path and take all that existing IP they have over the past 15 years, and with a few different UI elements make that work in Win/RT and make that work on Metro?
Kevin Goodman: Do you know what? The question you just asked will determine the success of this device. If those guys can get it up and running, and maybe with the same level as you’re seeing with Office 15. I can use OneNote, but I can’t wait for the next version. If I can use it, if I can get it up there, it may be a CIO saying, “Wow. I don’t have to invest in Objective C training. We have that one guy we hired out of school, but the rest of these guys, I can take advantage of their experience. Instead of looking at rewrites, I’m looking at ports.” Portfests are always cheaper than rewrites.
Lots of developers want to do rewrites. The industry sometimes wants you to do rewrites. The gentleman that created C#, Anders, one of the things that Microsoft realized is it’s almost social which language is popular. When it was C++ and there was a down economy back when Java came out, if I do a rewrite in Java, I can hire those cheap kids straight out of school because these expensive C++ programmers I can’t afford. So startups get created with Java.
What happened five years later? We came up with C#. Now can you compete as a Java programmer with five years of experience against that C# kid that just came out of school who will work for almost nothing? That’s why these things keep rotating. What do you know? Another down economy, and another new language. Here we go again.
Brian Madden: Isn’t the new language Objective C?
Kevin Goodman: Win/RT, I could use C#. I could use HTML 5. Actually, you’re open to whatever you want to do with Win/RT.
Brian Madden: I was kind of asking in a—
Kevin Goodman: Oh, yeah. Why did the iPhone take off?
Brian Madden: That was it, right?
Kevin Goodman: Objective C has been around for a billion years, but all of a sudden there was a new device to take advantage of it, the iPhone.
Brian Madden: My question, though, is aren’t all these young kids that will work for almost free right out of college, aren’t they all writing in Objective C for iOS now?
Kevin Goodman: I would say yes.
Brian Madden: Is that not just the next—if an organization wants to go to a tablet and Apple sold 18 million tablets last quarter, so they’re going to sell 100 million this year—isn’t the organization asking themselves the same thing? They have these gray-haired Visual Studio developers that could take the existing apps and write them for Win/RT, but then, “I’ll just hire four more 22-year-olds for $30,000.00 each, and we’ll do it in Objective C and just write it for iOS.”
Kevin Goodman: Time will tell. The whole strategy may or may not be successful. If it is successful, it’s because these apps will be written. Right now, you have iOS programmers with four years of experience. How long have the iPhones been out, since 2005? Is that right?
Brian Madden: Or 2007.
Kevin Goodman: Okay. So you got five years ago. Now a down economy and trying to get a job as an iPhone developer. Man, there are no jobs. How about Metro? Let’s try it.
Brian Madden: Yeah. The Metro, I think you can get Visual Studio for free if you’re just a single user license, and you just want to download and start playing with it. That’s all free, right?
Kevin Goodman: Yeah. The Win/RT SDK is all free. If you want support and all that, you have to go through MSDN. It’s basically free.
Brian Madden: That does answer the question. In the blog post from last week—or yesterday it was—in the blog post from yesterday that I wrote, I kind of said that on the surface, if you look at it, because Microsoft is curating the store, there’s no plugins. There is a desktop mode, but it’s not really a desktop mode, so we can sort of discount that it exists.
It looks like the Windows on ARM tablet is essentially no different than an iPad. It’s just Microsoft’s version of the iPad. Because they’re going with different manufacturers, sure, there’ll be different-sized ones, keyboards, and that kind of stuff. It’s basically just an iPad since it can have no plugins and all apps are created.
My question was if companies have to rewrite all their own apps anyway for this thing, and the iPad is going to have sales of 150 million by the time this thing comes out, then what chance does it have? That’s how I left that conversation.
The one point we can get is maybe one of the angles is that the developers really are used to doing things the way they have been doing them, so they will be more interested in writing for Windows platform.
My question about that is in order for that to work, obviously the end users themselves have to use these Windows on ARM tables. It could be x86 tablets too, but the users have to use them too. Who wins this conversation? This I’m asking to everyone. Do we think that companies are going to say, “I rewrote this application, and now we’re going to buy you all?” No user is buying a Windows tablet on their own except for the 15 people who are listening to Microsoft’s podcast or whatever.
This means if organizations want to have these things, they have to buy these tablets for all these users. Are they going to do that, or are they going to say, “Wow, 95 percent of the people I need to buy tablets for already have iPads, so why not just write my app for iOS and off we go?”
Gabe Knuth: I think the enterprises are going to buy them for desktop replacements too. I think that’s a viable option if the applications appear in Metro or if they can develop them in an appropriate way for the devices. I think they could be desktop replacements too.
I don’t want to get cornered on tablets because I think there’s other use cases, but from a tablet standpoint, you’re right. There’s no way. Not with so many people already have Android and iOS tablets. If organizations buy tablets for people, they’ll use them for work and throw them off to the side, maybe. Or they’ll just continue doing whatever they used to do work-related on their tablets, go to work, and use their PCs like normal.
Kevin Goodman: I think there’s that danger. The other danger—and I think the Zen Desktop people will agree with me here—the real danger is business as usual.
These are the numbers we’re going with, that half the people are still on Windows XP. Maybe 30 or 35 percent have migrated to Windows 7. It’s going to be difficult to get the 7s to go to 8. The XPs, there might be a reason they haven’t gone to 7. Is that reason because their app won’t port?
Gabe Knuth: I read an article about people who were waiting for Windows 7. Since Windows 8 is so close, they’re waiting to go to 8. So still on XP. Skip Vista. Skip 7. Waiting for 8.
Brian Madden: As they say, if you interrupt the kicker. You’ve got until 2014, so what the hell?
Gabe Knuth: Yeah. I wrote an article about it. If you’re doing it just to do it, that’s probably the wrong reason. Because there’s so much stuff, not only do you have to worry about the stuff that came out in Vista and then all the stuff that came out in Windows 7, like all the profiles and stuff like that, now you have to worry about all the changes that are going to be in Windows 8 too. The amount of problems or issues that you’re going to have to deal with are snowballing.
You’re right, Kevin. I can’t imagine people waiting. So business as usual wins out in just about every one of those situations because they’re just like, “We know how to do this already, so why the hell are we going to change it?
Brian Madden: Another thing to add into consideration—most of you listening may know Denis Gundarev. Dennis is a Citrix CTP originally from Russia. He actually hosted—it was me, Rick Dehlinger, and Harry Labana, and Robert Morris. He hosted us in Russia couple of years ago. We did a bunch of events out there. Denis has actually since moved here to the Bay area, but he’s still Citrix CTP and stuff.
He sent me a note on Twitter yesterday saying something like, “I don’t agree with your article. I wrote my response, but it’s 2,000 words. Can I post that response? Will it fit in the comments?” I looked at it. I thought, “This is an article by itself.” His article will be tomorrow’s main post for www.BrianMadden.com.
My whole thing is I’m saying that these tablets—my view is that since the Windows on ARM tablets, since there’s no backward compatibility story like with desktop apps, or desktop mode, or porting, or virtualization. Maybe I’m not using those words properly. You’re not going to buy these tablets because they’re compatible with everything else you have. If you have to rewrite all your applications anyway, why don’t you just go with the iPad versus this Windows tablet, especially if you can’t have plugins and that kind of stuff? It’s not like you can use it with older versions of IE and all that sort of thing.
I kind of said that if this is the case, these tablets are for consumers, right? Why would an enterprise buy this thing? If an enterprise needs a tablet, aren’t they going to buy an x86 or x64 tablet? That way they can run truly all their old applications. They can run desktop mode. They can install whatever they want. My view of the enterprise tablet is it’s going to be x86 tablets. My view of the enterprise Windows tablet is it’s going to be x86 tablet.
Denis, in what will become the blog post tomorrow, says that we’re underestimating the other advantages of the Windows platform that corporations have. Gabe, I don’t know if you have that in front of you right now, but he’s talking about—in terms of security, because it’s still Android security and iOS security—Apple controls everything, or with Android people are afraid of it being free and open. With Windows it can be your existing mechanism. It’s in the domain. It’s the existing way of doing things, so it’s a registry and all that kind of stuff.
When corporations want to deploy tablets to users, they want the characteristics of an ARM tablet, like the good battery life, the low power consumption, and the smallness of it and everything. Then they can get all their Windows stuff by having an ARM tablet. Denis believes that’s the reason why corporations are going to choose Windows on ARM tablets.
Gabe Knuth: It makes sense. I haven’t read the article yet. That process is editing it and getting it posted. I’ll do that later. We can check it out and comment on it tomorrow when it goes up.
Brian Madden: There’s a comment on the internet here about notebooks with dual chips, but Intel and ARM. They come on both of them.
Gabe Knuth: It’s Chaz.
Brian Madden: Low power when you need it, more power when you need it.
Kevin Goodman: Chaz also reminded us all in the chat window that Microsoft has been known to change their policies. This could be their policy to start. If they see it doesn’t work, or they effectively lock out, or they get their foot in the door, they might change it.
Gabe Knuth: There’s a lot of risk here, I think, with regard to the developer world. If the developers get pissed and migrate away from Windows, is Windows done? I wrote that I feel like Microsoft really needs to knock it out of the park with Windows 8, but I just can’t imagine. If they alienate the developers, or the developers are like, “Screw that. I’m going to develop over here,” organizations are like, “Screw that. I need an app developed for iOS or Android,” I just feel like that could be the end of Windows. Then that causes the mass migration of applications to other platforms or into the cloud.
Brian Madden: As we discussed, there’s always going to be need for Windows apps at some level, just from a pure legacy standpoint. I’m not even necessarily talking about apps that are even updated anymore. It seems like there’s still mainframe apps, although I saw that NASA finally turned off their last mainframe just this weekend. There are still mainframes being used. Windows apps I’m sure will be used for another 20 years.
Gabe Knuth: I don’t mean that it’s going to go away instantly, but I mean right now the consensus is that Windows is dying a slow death. I feel like the pace of that death is going to pick up rather quickly if Windows 8 fails.
Brian Madden: So it started the death by a thousand cuts, and then Windows 8 is the guillotine.
Gabe Knuth: One big damn cut. Yeah.
Brian Madden: Maybe it’s the end of Windows on devices. My kind of feel is—and I think we talked about this before—that I think we’ve already crossed over the point where more new applications being created, even within enterprises, are not native Windows apps. They’re creating web apps, or device-native for iOS, or whatever it happens to be.
That doesn’t mean the organizations are running a majority of non-Windows apps. It just means that of the new apps that are created. There’s going to be an atrophy period of, I don’t know, 20 years or whatever. At some point, we’re going to get to the point where maybe today 60 percent of our apps are Windows apps. Then in two years it’s 50, then 40. At some point, we’re going to get down to where only 20 percent of our apps are Windows apps.
I think we’re all going to ask ourselves, “Does it make sense to support this massive Windows desktop architecture just for that 15 percent of apps that require Windows?” At that point, perhaps that’s where we’re taking those last remaining Windows apps, move them off the desktop into the data center. Maybe it’s a terminal server model. Maybe it’s a VDI, spawned-instantly model, or whatever it’s going to be, and those are delivered remotely.
So the last desktop-based apps are in the data center. Now we don’t have to worry about managing the Windows platform on the device. Maybe the Windows OS, maybe that’s what Windows on ARM is. Maybe the Windows OS—sure, it’s still going to exist because you will have to have an OS on a device. You’ll have Windows on ARM, or iOS, or Android, or whatever. Organizations are not dealing with the fact that Windows is on these devices.
Kevin Goodman: In that management of that image, whether that image is that desktop under your PC or that image is on one of these ARM or iOS devices, is probably what’s causing the CIO to scratch his head right now, figuring out how to do that. That’s where all the expenses are. That’s what drives you to want to do something like a Zen app or a virtualization.
In addition to that, that’s what’s fueling today companies like Atlantis that are solving those problems with the image. With all of those types of companies out there, the fact that they’re making so much money with LanDesk, BigFix, and those guys like that, if they can come out with a way that you would reduce those costs for maintaining that image, then that device will win.
Those expenses are the ones that kill you. The labor-intensive ones are what are driving us to try to get rid of that PC under our desk with its mean time between failures. The move to virtualization is one of the reason people are trying to do that. Security and compliance, of course, are the other reasons, but managing that much on that device is—if Microsoft figures that out in a great way, they could be a winner in this. There’s a lot of risk involved. I agree, but they could be a winner.
Brian Madden: Sinofsky did mention that—and we knew this before, I think—that with Metro, the Metro-style interface, and these Windows stores apps, they will have isolation built in, which is I think exactly how the Android platform works and how the iOS platform works. Because all the apps are coming through the Windows store, you won’t have to deal with regression testing, and compatibility, and all that kind of stuff.
It occurs to me as you’re talking that there is two different Windows here. We are seeing the diversions now. The old Windows we have desktop apps that are not curated through the Windows store, have all the compatibility issues, and that can sort of move now into the cloud in the next five or ten years, and live on for another 50 years. We can get that off our desktops. Then our desktops do move to that full curated model, especially if it’s an ARM desktop, obviously, where everything is sort of tested, and very modular. In that case, you don’t need a LanDesk, or a BigFix for Windows on ARM, just like you don’t need it for these Android or for iOS.
Now MDM—Jack, you’re doing this study of these different mobile device management vendors. We call that MDM for mobile device management.
Jack Madden: DM.
Brian Madden: Yeah, DM for desktop management. Historically. Now it’s just called DM?
Jack Madden: You mean one D for both devices and desktops?
Brian Madden: No. What’s the difference between mobile device management?
Jack Madden: Desktop and devices are the same.
Brian Madden: Yeah. It was MDM and DDM before. If the new desktops that are running Metro only can get apps from the Windows store, and the apps are already tested that they’re not going to conflict and all that kind of stuff, we don’t have to do traditional desktop management on these devices. A lot of the stuff we kind of do traditionally in the old-school Windows world, we don’t need to do. I wonder if we see mobile device management expanding to just plain device management, and it manages your laptop as easily as your BlackBerry as easily as your tablet.
Jack Madden: This application has a password around it, but the password to get to the whole device is only four digits and things like that. You can open this file with this other application, but not this application. It’s the same for the desktop and for the tablet and phone.
Gabe Knuth: If all that stuff is predictable, it’s not so much of a Wild, Wild West. That’s what all the solutions out there today do. They kind of help tame the wildness that is Windows right now. If all of that stuff is predictable, it’s more just who has the best management capabilities centralized? All of the devices, we know what they’re going to do. We know how to control them. We know how to configure them, and so on. The line will be blurry between the two devices now.
Jack Madden: You mentioned which device has the best management capabilities?
Gabe Knuth: I mean which package. The devices I figure will all have the same abilities to be managed. It comes down to which management package does things the best way?
Jack Madden: For example, this new BlackBerry playbook in my hand and the Windows 8 ARM tablet, you’re going to be able manage those more completely than you’re able to manage an iPad because Apple being Apple, there are still things that—you can have all the mobile device management software you want, and there’s still stuff that you can’t touch.
Gabe Knuth: I mean between individual devices. When I say that each device will be equally managed, I mean Windows on ARM device will be equally manageable, and each Android tablet or device will be equally manageable, and each iPad, but not compared to each other. You’re right. The iOS device is not nearly as manageable. There’s not nearly as much stuff exposed to the native hardware, that kind of thing. You’re right in that regard.
Brian Madden: Although, Jack was telling me yesterday that Android can actually be more secure to manage than iOS.
Jack Madden: If you completely replace the build of the Android OS that you’re using with something custom that has all the management built in, then you can have access to absolutely everything, which is a heck of a lot more than you get access with when you’re managing an iOS device.
Gabe Knuth: It’s true. The device is more secure, not the OS.
Brian Madden: It’s still Android.
Jack Madden: The device using your own custom Android build is more secure.
Brian Madden: Yeah. Because you can build. It’s like how they had in the old days, the hardened version of UNIX, and there’s a Windows version and stuff too. Because Android is open, an MDM vendor could make their own Android build that was just super locked down. They can go through every line of all that code and make it happen, and then you have the most secure device.
Kevin Goodman: That’s a niche market at best, in my opinion. You’re going to see maybe one day in the future the UPS driver with his own Android device that you sign for your package, but I don’t see that going out to the masses. If we wanted to manage OSes like that, we would have replaced Windows on our desktops with Linux a long time ago.
Brian Madden: We couldn’t have, though. There were no Linus apps.
Gabe Knuth: As soon as that goes out of date and cherry creamsicle comes out—or whatever the hell the next version of Android would be—as soon as that comes out, it’s going to have new features, and people are going to revolt. Then we’ve got the same situation we have now. We have this dodgy, old, crappy OS that makes things harder to do than what they are out in the real world. Then we have the users revolting and getting the new devices with the new features and trying to use those in organizations. Then we have a whole new FUIT play.
Jack Madden: The answer is don’t manage the devices.
Brian Madden: Oh! Zing! Let me ask you something. When we talk about management of devices or desktops, there’s MDM for mobile device management, and then there’s desktop management, which as Kevin was mentioning the LanDesk, BigFix, and all these kinds of companies. If we move to where Windows becomes this more locked Windows, like Windows on ARM or the Metro with Windows store only and that kind of stuff—
Jack Madden: The isolated applications.
Brian Madden: Right, so we don’t need the traditional desktop management. Two questions come to mind. One, does that mean these MDM vendors grow to expand? I think the answer is yes. Right now they’re going to do Android, and they’re doing iOS, and some of them do BlackBerry. I’m sure they’re going to throw Windows on ARM—essentially Windows Mobile is on the same platform, by the way. That goes the same way.
The question to you, Jack, is all these MDM vendors you’re talking to, you’re still planning on doing this BriForum presentation, yeah?
Jack Madden: Yeah.
Brian Madden: All these vendors you talk to, do any of them do anything now for traditional desktops? Are there any big names we know? Does Microsoft do MDM? Does Semantic? Semantic has MDM, right? You haven’t gotten that far yet?
Jack Madden: I haven’t gotten that far.
Kevin Goodman: Altiris does it, right?
Brian Madden: For traditional desktops. The second question is what does Microsoft do? They’ve got System Center. I wonder if System Center now expands—I know they just started scratching the surface with being able to do some very basic things with iOS and Android. Maybe it’s the 12 version. I don’t know if that’s out yet. It’s going to be one thing, right? You’re just going to have the device management, and Microsoft needs to get into the MDM game too.
Jack Madden: Yeah. System Center is on my list of things to check out. My first initial push for this effort was to look at the versions of these products that support actual BYOD that lean toward more data and application management, and that fundamentally, managing the device is not part of their central mission. The actual management of corporate devices, maybe that’s BriForum Session Part 2.
Brian Madden: BriForum Chicago.
Jack Madden: Because right now it’s the look at the devices that can actually accommodate BYOD in the way that most people would think of BYOD, being which is not locking down the entire device.
Gabe Knuth: I’m really curious to see what the message is going to be at Microsoft Management Summit now. I can’t remember if it’s in late March or early April, but last year they announced that they had some capability to manage devices—BlackBerrys and iOS devices, and things like that. I feel like they’re at least aware that this is a big deal. They had that announcement last year.
I’ll be really interested to see what the message is there at MMS, and of course with all the Windows 8 stuff, maybe we can actually get in front of people that are in the know and talk to them. I don’t think there’s going to be too many demos and things like that. Maybe.
Kevin Goodman: The correct MDM strategy, if it comes from System Center and is tied to just Metro tablets, you have a typical Microsoft lock in. The correct one has got to be able to do things like encrypt a device so if somebody else finds it, it doesn’t have to just choose 10,000 passwords to get past the PIN. It has to be able to do a remote wipe. It has to be able to do a self-explode. The device needs to implode if it doesn’t talk back to the mother ship in 90 days, 120 days, or what have you. those types of things in addition to being able to update software and decide that you’re going to be able to run the correct level of the application.
The other thing that Microsoft has an opportunity here is devices on your iOS right now, the ones that talk Bluetooth, make it very difficult here in the United States for a federal government to buy because Bluetooth isn’t a secure communication channel. Your two-face authentications. I use my RSA ID digitally, but all those guys that have to have a card, those common access cards the federal government uses, those currently aren’t being implemented on iPads. Your opportunity there is if you can figure out a way to have the device manufacturers fall in love with you as well.
Brian Madden: I guess that’s going to be a big—like, Good does something. They’ve got a version, but is that just for BlackBerry?
Jack Madden: I was just thinking about that. The answer is I don’t remember offhand. I haven’t seen exactly.
Brian Madden: It’s a different world, and it’s not our world.
Jack Madden: Yep. They do mention common access card capabilities.
Brian Madden: We’re coming up on just a couple minutes left in our hour. There’s a couple things I want to ask real quick.
Kevin, I don’t have to wait until you leave VMware for this, but I’m just curious. I wrote an article a month or two ago about VMware’s own internal VMware View usage. I’m curios. While you were at VMware—they say that everyone within VMware has a View desktop available, so they’ve got a 10,000-seat build, but only one-third of them use it as their primary desktop. Kevin, when you were at VMware, did you use VMware View on a regular basis?
Kevin Goodman: Thanks for catching me off guard there. As a matter of fact, I think you outed me. I was the guy who used it to get on the corporate network so I could print out my boarding pass.
Brian Madden: That was you.
Kevin Goodman: If I didn’t upgrade to first class—I wanted the free drink, and you can only get that if you print your boarding pass out. I’m not the use case for it, though. If you want to have another conversation about why or why not you want to use virtual desktops, I’m definitely not the use case for it.
It is true. We all had—I dogfooded View prior to it being on there. It made a lot of sense in some instances. The truth is that VMware doesn’t have any corporate apps that I really needed. All the corporate apps that I needed were SaaS apps.
Brian Madden: Yeah.
Kevin Goodman: Did I use our Horizon product? Yes. I don’t have any Windows apps that I needed to use.
Brian Madden: We should continue this conversation on a later show.
I want to ask Jack, you have been using a BlackBerry tablet for approximately 45 minutes. What’s your first 30 second of thoughts on this thing?
Jack Madden: One of my first thoughts was that it automatically played through a demo. I thought, “I have to sit through a demo?” Then it told me the bezel is touch sensitive, so you can pull things into the field. That’s kind of cool.
I wrote a while ago in some article or another that why should it matter so much because Facebook on BlackBerry tablet or Evernote on BlackBerry tablet is going to be the same as Evernote on iPad and TweetDeck for BlackBerry, so who cares? We’ll see whether or not I eat my words on that.
Brian Madden: All right. On that note, we are out of time for this week. Kevin, thank you so much for calling in and for being that guy in your car.
Kevin Goodman: I have three minutes left on my laptop. This is perfect.
Brian Madden: Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Gabe, thank you. Jack, thank you. All of you, thank you for listening. We’ll see you back here next week.