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  • Big changes at the top for Microsoft

    Posted on July 8th, 2017 at 20:35 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Brad Sams just reported on petri.com about two senior Microsoft departures. We’ve all been expecting details about thousands of folks in the salesforce getting the boot. But these two caught me by surprise.

    Nat Levy at GeekWire reports that Chief Info Officer Jim Dubois – who’s been on sabbatical – is retiring. Folks inside Microsoft think of the CIO as the person who keeps the internal business systems running. I think of Dubois as the chief consumer of dog food — the person who gets to try out all of the new features before the beta world sees them.

    Surprisingly, to me, Kurt DelBene will take on Dubois’s duties, using the newly coined title “Chief Digital Officer.” (I suppose that’s a step up from Chief Analog Officer.) I’ve written about DelBene before. He’s a long-time friend and confidant of Satya Nadella, with serious cloud experience.

    Brad also announced that William Kennedy is leaving. He’s the Corporate VP of Windows development, but it isn’t clear to me exactly what he does at MS.

    Oddly, this is the second time in two years that Kennedy’s departure has been announced. Back in August 2015, Ina Fried on Re/code said, as Nadella’s first round of major changes took effect:

    Perhaps the oddest turn was a change that was announced but ended up not happening. According to a source, Microsoft announced to the Windows team that it was replacing William Kennedy, the corporate VP of Windows development. It even announced Holecek as his replacement, only to say a short time later that Kennedy would be staying in place after all.

    According to this twitter conversation between Brad, Dona Sarkar, and Mary Branscombe, Kennedy is currently in charge of the team that makes Windows Photos, Paint 3D, and other Microsoft apps built for Windows. There are also several references online to Kennedy being “Corporate VP of the Windows Experience development team.”

    I can’t find any more information about his departure – where he’s going, who (if anyone) will replace him. If you’re concerned about the future of Paint 3D, there may be reason to fret. Will keep you updated.

  • On Facebook Secret Conversations…

    Posted on July 8th, 2017 at 18:02 Kirsty Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    In the wake of the recent Snapchat location sharing change, I received a message concerning end-to-end encryption in Facebook Messenger:

    “… as of late last year FB messenger has end to end encryption BUT…one has to select it for each message they want to make “secret”.

    It won’t work with MS desktop FB unless its Win 10 (never for me).”

    Now I’m not a Facebook user, but this intrigued me. What I found did not seem to be very user-friendly.

    The app that introduced encryption is only available from the Microsoft Store for “Windows 10 and Windows 10 mobile”, but only the mobile app appears to have the chat encryption. It seems older OS devices must use prior app versions which do not support encryption. Naturally, apps are also available for Android and iOS.

    (and note the mediocre ratings…)

    HowToGeek.com have a post which details the rigmarole required to effect the much-lauded chat encryption. It discusses what parts of conversation are actually encrypted (not any video calling, or any images it allows you to send), and problems with using more than one device with the app.

    Their post contains details on how to select which device you’ll be using, how to start a new Secret Conversation, changing an existing conversation to a secret one, confirming your conversations are secret, self-destroying messages and deleting secret conversations.

    I was surprised how difficult this all seemed, when other messaging apps seem to be a little simpler.

    Thanks to @hiflyer