Musings of a PC

Thoughts about Windows, TV and technology in general

An open letter to Leo Laporte, Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley

I know that I haven’t written anything here for a long time now … I’ve been sorta busy :). I needed to get something off my chest, though, and this seemed as good a platform as any on which to do it.

So this is addressed to Leo Laorte, Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley, the hosts of TWiT TV’s Windows Weekly. TWiT has the tagline of “netcasts you love from people you trust” and Windows Weekly has the tagline of “talk about Windows and all things Microsoft”. Sadly, for me at least, lately neither of these statements have been true for a while now.

I want to make it clear that this is an opinion piece. As such, you may disagree with what I write, and that’s fine – you are entitled to your own opinion – but I am allowed to have my own opinion even if you do disagree with it.

With that said …

Windows Weekly really doesn’t seem to be sticking to talk about Windows and all things Microsoft. Episode 461, for example, spent the opening 30 minutes talking about Facebook and their bot announcement; I’ve even re-listened to that part of the show and there was barely any comparison with the bot announcements made at Microsoft’s recent BUILD developer conference. Leo even went so far as to say that Facebook had the inside track! There was then an unannounced advertisement for Amazon Echo before going on to talk about Android handsets again (see below) and how Mary Jo is now using a Nexus instead of a Lumia Icon.

Remind me what this show is called?

Leo, you come across as a very affable person; easy to listen to and generally a good host. However, there are three things that really grate with me about you on Windows Weekly:

  1. Sometimes you just don’t listen to whoever else is talking with the outcome being that you ask a question that has literally been something that was said seconds earlier.
  2. There doesn’t seem to be a show that goes by without you promoting an Android handset. This is Windows Weekly. If I was interested in Android stuff, I’d be listening to This Week in Google. Anyone would think it was an unannounced advertisement the way you go on about it.
  3. Associated with #2, you really do have a tendency to derail the topic of conversation. You even admitted as much in episode 461 as you went to the first ad after talking about nothing really related to Microsoft.

Paul, you are a very depressing person to listen to. I don’t know if your articles have always been so tabloid or if this is since you left Penton to form thurrott.com, but I do get very disappointed/frustrated when headlines are just clickbait. Take the headline “Windows Phone is Irrelevant Today, But It Still Has a Future“. This is a very provoking headline … particularly since the use of the word irrelevant actually pertains to the statistical relevance of the number of Windows Phone/Mobile handsets in use. Like Leo, you have started pushing Android really hard lately instead of trying to find even the smallest positive about Windows Mobile.

You made a fair point about how Microsoft could have used Windows Mobile handsets on stage during the BUILD keynotes but, apart from that, your criticism of the lack of anything phone-related at BUILD was very unfair. Windows 10 Mobile is Windows 10. Any developer-related news or information would have been across the whole of Windows 10 unless it was Hololens because nobody knows how to develop for that, hence the sessions.

By and large, Mary Jo (with her Enterprise hat on) doesn’t get sucked into the anti-Microsoft rhetoric coming from Leo and Paul but recently she hasn’t been immune. There was one episode where she asked why data protection hadn’t been mentioned in BUILD. Errr … wasn’t that a developer event? Wouldn’t you expect data protection to be covered at Ignite (what used to be Tech-Ed)?

It has got to the point where I just don’t enjoy listening to the podcast any longer. I said at the start of this post that I needed to get something off my chest but I think that a comment on a recent Mary Jo article puts it more eloquently than me:

Since Mary Jo and Paul Thourrott don’t believe in Microsoft products, I unsubscribed to the ZDnet email, and to both their podcasts. They forgot that the ones that listen are Microsoft fans, and we don’t appreciate being laughed at. Maybe they should join an android show. I no longer listen to Windows Weekly or What the Tech.

I don’t consider myself to be a fanboy, but I do prefer the Microsoft ecosystem over Android or Apple. As such, I want to listen to people who are like me and I’ve come to the conclusion that Leo, Paul and Mary Jo simply don’t believe in Microsoft products and so I am no longer listening to Windows Weekly or following TWiT, Paul or Mary Jo on Twitter.

To use that word from Paul’s article, I may be (statistically) insignificant, but I still count.

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2 responses to “An open letter to Leo Laporte, Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley

  1. Randy Keith August 11, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    I thought your comments were accurate, however I view Paul’s eeyore’ish thoughts more with humor than disdain. His criticizing of Microsoft is in general more informative than the Google or Apple fanboy podcast’s were comments like this are common; “I do not like this behavior with the iPhone but if Apple designed it this way in must be the best way…”
    Besides Windows Weekly is the last TWiT podcasts I listen to, Leo’s political rants are most times, childish and off putting. News flash, it is a tech podcast!!! Sorry for the Leo rant…

  2. barotropic March 22, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Bingo! You’ve expressed my sentiments very well. I’ve tried to analyze why I no longer have much interest in Windows Weekly generally, and Paul Thurrott’s thoughts specifically, and came to similar conclusions over the past few months. Leo has never been a fan of MS products, and is easily bored, so he primarily finds ways to entertain himself during the podcast. Hence the frequent derailing you mentioned, with juvenile humor and lengthy diversions into his iOS and Android interests. Thurrott seems to be driven by worry over his relevance after a long career as a MS specialist. So he has jumped into iOS and Android, using MS apps in those ecosystems as a weak MS tie-in. When he does talk about important MS products, there is much mocking and derision, which spools Leo into a happy state, and the whole discussion degenerates. Sorry, I listen to WW to hear about MS products, not for impromptu comedy and Android/iOS analysis from people who are amateurs at both.

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