PCM34: Has Microsoft Stolen Apple’s Mojo?

Has Apple lost its Mojo? PC Mike thinks so. And Microsoft seems to have stolen it away.

In this episode of the podcast, Mike outlines some of the problems and issues Apple has been having lately, many centered around a general lack of innovation.

Mike is so disappointed that he’s actually thinking of changing his entire technology ecosystem from Apple to Windows.

Why does he think Microsoft has become the hottest tech company today? A big reason can be seen in Microsoft’s recent product announcements. Giving us five takeaways from that big event is Sean Michael from Winbeta.org

Plus, we have reviews of cool bluetooth speakers and some handy apps that can remind you of maintenance chores you need to do around your house to get ready for cold weather.

Show Notes for Episode #34 Oct. 9, 2015 of the PC Mike podcast:

First Things First: PC Mike Dumping Apple for Microsoft?

Lumia-950-and-950-XLWhen PC Mike first started reporting on tech way back when, he was all in on Microsoft-based products, which put the “PC” in PC Mike. Then, a flurry of exciting and truly innovative produces from Apple changed his ways and he became a self-described Apple Fanboy. But in the last three years, things have changed (see Apple’s recent big announcement about Apple Pencil), leaving PC Mike wondering if it’s time to return to his tech reporting roots and truly go PC. He kicks of the show by telling you why. [ 1:12]

 

Interview: Sean Michael, Editor/Writer/Windows Expert, WinBeta.org

Sean Michael of WinBeta.org

Sean Michael of WinBeta.org

Sean Michael from WinBeta.org joins Mike to discuss five important takeaways from Microsoft’s big event this week. [14:49]

Among other things, Sean and PC Mike discuss:

  • Why Microsoft’s presentation in general created a certain kind of excitement about what Microsoft plans
  • What sets Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 apart from competition
  • Why Microsoft Pen is an impressive stylus and could be more useful than Apple Pencil
  • Why the phones Microsoft unveiled are so impressive
  • How the ubiquitous nature of Windows makes Microsoft-powered devices so much more useful

For tons more in-depth and technical coverage of Microsoft, check out WinBeta.org.

WinBeta also does podcasts and you can find them here: http://www.winbeta.org/tags/podcast

Thingamajig of the Week: Cool Bluetooth Speakers

Bose Soundlink Blue Tooth III

Bose Soundlink Blue Tooth III

Paul Ulreich, Verizon’s Uber User, joins the show to talk about Bluetooth speakers. [35:20]

Here are the three Paul reviews:

This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon Wireless, the nation’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Verizon’s HopeLine program is shining a national spotlight on the issue.

Throughout the month of October, Verizon will offer an exclusive line of purple HopeLine accessories, where each purchase will activate a $1 donation to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, up to $100,000. Featured accessories include phone cases, a headset, tablet case and more.

Verizon also continues its mission to collect 1 million donated phones by the end of 2015 to support domestic violence organizations. You can donate used wireless phones, chargers and accessories, from any carrier, at a Verizon store or through the HopeLine website and HopeLine will turn them into resources for victims and survivors nationwide.

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Support the cause, and go purple! Visit this site for purple Verizon accessories: http://vz.to/1LmAu2o

Visit Roadtreking.com/vzw for stories about how technology can enhance and improve your life.

Apps of the Week: Home Maintenance Apps to Help Protect Your Biggest Investment

Home Maintenance AppsIt’s fall, cold weather is on the way and it’s time to do things to get ready for winter like change our furnace filters and other basic maintenance. [39:55]

But there are all kinds of other ways we need to practice regular home upkeep and with the help of some handy apps, we can be reminded of what to do and when to protect our biggest investment – our homes.

Home Maintenance Schedule Pro helps you keep track everything from when you should flush your water heater and inspect fire extinguishers to when you should have your chimney swept and tune up your furnace. It also includes a list of maintenance that should be done annually or every six or three months. The app is $1.99 for Android.

For Apple devices, the Home Maintenance app alerts you to what needs maintenance or repair. Choose from the app’s predefined list of suggested maintenance tasks or create your own. Home Maintenance also keeps a record of repairs so you will never have to wonder about things like when it was that you last changed your furnace filters. The app is $4.99.

For both iOS and Android, the HomeKeepr app sets up reminders for all your home maintenance tasks. HomeKeepr also has a directory of local home improvement specialists should you need additional help. The app is free.

Online Learning – Free Trial for PC Mike Listeners

I get asked a lot about finding online courses for learning how to use photography software such as Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom CC, which are both on my recently updated list of tech gear. I talk about how I benefited from taking online courses as well as a special deal available only to PC Mike Techcast listeners at pcmike.com/lynda, where you can even try it free for 10 days and see if online learning works as well for you as it has for me. By the way, they have more than 3,300 courses to pick from – including more than 100,000 video tutorials – in subjects ranging from photography, video and audio to graphic design and web development. With Lynda, you can get:

– Unlimited access to all 3,314 courses – more than 100,000 video tutorials
– Learn new software and stay up to date

Listeners of the PC Mike podcast can get a free 10-day trial. Try any course. Start your trial now and see what you can learn. Just go to http://pcmike.com/lynda to get the free 10 day trial.

We Need Your Help!

As we begin a new podcast like this, it’s very important to get a bunch of reviews to be able to show well in the iTunes listings. So if you can, I’d sure appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave me your rating and review.

Here’s how:

First, open up the iTunes app on your computer or mobile device. Click on Podcasts on top
> From the iTunes Podcasts page, use the “Search Store” field up at the top right corner of the page. Type in PC Mike Techcast under the Podcasts category.
> Click on the logo image of the PC Mike Techcast on the search return page
> From there, you can:

1) Subscribe

2) Choose and Click on a star (1-5) that reflects your rating. Five stars means you really like it, one star not so much.

3) Leave a written review.

Thanks to all for the kind reviews we’ve received so far. I read and appreciate every review! If you haven’t left a review please do so. I will be so grateful!

And remember, you can appear in future episodes. Ask a question or voice your comments by clicking the Leave Voicemail tab on the right side of this page here at pcmike.com. You can then use the microphone on your computer to record your question.

Thank you!

Posted in: Podcast

About the Author:

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.