Microsoft's Joe Belfiore talks about creators and the future of tech on a special #AskDanWindows

Normally, I take your questions on Microsoft, Windows, and general technology, but this week we had a special chance to speak with Belfiore.

After going a year-long sabbatical with his family, Belfiore (and his team) have been busy working on the user experience in Windows 10. He was able to spare a few minutes to answer a few questions we had about Windows and where technology is going, such as:

  • Why did you guys focus on creators with windows 10 updates this year?
  • What do you think is the next bend in the curve for technology?
  • What tech do you personally find exciting?

Tune in for his responses! Special thanks to Belfiore and Microsoft for giving us this opportunity.

Email me!

Don't use Twitter? After much feedback, we are happy to announce you can forward your questions to to submit your requests!

AskDan Forums!

Hate using email? Join me in our #AskDan Forums at Windows Central! I'll occasionally jump in there to try and answer questions or take ideas for new episodes of our web series.

Ask Dan Forums at Windows Central

You can also find previous episodes of #AskDanWindows here on the main landing page.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • This was a fun idea we had at the last minute, so thanks to Microsoft for accommodating us. Going forward, when we do future Microsoft event I'll try to do more of these with other high-profile figures at Microsoft and other companies too. Hope you folks enjoy it as we try to branch out here ;)
  • Dan do you think VR and Augmented reality are going to really pop and catch on as these tech giants are aiming for? I can see some specialized businesses taking advantage but I don't know that it will reach killer consumer levels. I thought the augmented stuff in the early Lumias was cool but I never actually used in a real scenario and it seemed only useful for sight-seers who are city-dwellers. The closest use I found was a version that showed nearby jobs that I think CareerBuilder had (might be mistaken). I think Google had the right Idea with Glass (lightweight, non intrusive) but Microsoft had the better idea with the software and ecosystem required to make it useful. It will be interesting to see who can actually find the right balance of both in a practical, affordable model for consumers in the next decade.
  • You are a consumer as well, so what do you think? For now we have VR, Mixed Reality, Hololens, each with their own appeal and application. It all depends on how each option is further developed and its price. VR would catch on more if the price lowered some and the PC requirements were lower. WMR already does that but is a bit different. On the other side Hololens is more of a niche enterprise hardware, but again it would help if the price would be lower and MS keeps developing the hardware and shows people it can be used for more things. The high end SB2 already costs 3000, so the Hololens needs to show it can do a lot of things
  • I can't find a use for it in my routine. I think it's way too early tell. That said, I have never envisioned regular use for this kind of tech outside of video games and specialized businesses so perhaps I'm short sighted
  • I touch upon this is some recent podcasts and even AskDan episodes. Yes, I do think there's something here, but we are likely at the very beginning of it, so the "obviousness" of it won't be there for many. Getting costs down, enabling it on all Windows 10 PCs, making the hardware easy to set up, and making it easy for content providers to get it to consumers are HUGE steps in the right direction. There's still more to do though.
  • I used Here City Lense everytime I was abroad. Mostly to find restaurants, but a few other POIs popped up too. UI was very nice. And at least in those few cities I tried it in, it worked really well.
    I know they dropped it for w10m, but is it still available for 8(.1)?
  • What we know, it will not be Microsoft, they do not like or think about consumers. Impossible to trust or continue with them.
  • They are gonna pop and catch on, but with others. MS is best at failing and killing of products.
  • thanks guys it's good to take a step back and see the bigger picture of where we are headed
  • Nice video, and great to have interviews like this. Love that these vids look great and damn, Dan's looking hench!
  • Great questions and refreshing to hear the energy of what future technologies Joe is excited about. The outtake was a nice touch too!
  • They have to keep them secret, but after finishing something and getting the approval of the board, they release it
  • Kinect 3.0!
  • OK, here's my reaction... Dan: Are you huge or is he tiny? haha
  • Both
  • Rubinosan has the Godzilla gene
  • LOL
  • Dan, with Microsoft seeminging invested in the notion of thr internet of things and always connected devices can you tell me why Mircosoft would choose not to buy a company like T-Mobile which would seem to present some very interesting oportunities for Microsoft going forward. If connected devices are the future wouldn't it make sense that Microsoft owned at least a part of the infrastructure that will deliver the data to consumers especially once 5G is up and running? Seems to me that an LTE capable XBox, Surface line etc is the next logical step. Microsoft has had problems getting companies like Verizon for example to support their products which in some small part one could argue was a part of the reason for the failure of Microsoft's mobile ambitions. With Microsoft stock at very high levels and relatively good rates for debt I would like to know why Microsoft hasn't already purchased T-Mobile. Thanks. 
  • I think operating a carrier is a HUGE shift for them and veers away from the "software first, hardware second" focus. I see what you're saying and think it makes some sense, but that seems like a massive balancing act. Not denying though it would be cool.
  • Unfortunately I think that is part of the problem with Microsoft. If we were talking about Amazon here I think we can all agree that it would be a serious option. Amazon gets into everything and it gets rewarded even though they also have many failures as well. Think about it, the leading cloud company just purchased a grocery chain with Whole Foods. A way for Microsoft to at least make sure that it's products get a fair shake on at least one network would be huge. Yes it would be a shift but just think if a guy like John Leger could be brought into the Microsoft fold. He's a sales man and a marketing genius something Microsoft is in desperate need of. I foresee a a Microsoft Xbox One X2 5G edition which streams all games out of the box for a $50 monthly fee. Pair that with Skype and Mixer and you have one powerful system. But you're probably right, too much for Microsoft to handle.
  • Also, I don't think that they want to branch out that much or buy companies to grow their own, not like that. It's like with hardware, there's a very calculated line of devices, because it's not their point to be a "real" hardware company.
  • MSFT is very poor at marketing and if they purchased TMo, they would most likely bankrupt/close it down...remember Nokia?
  • Nokia still exists as a company. Only a division was acquired not the entire company.
  • Exactly, development and marketing is to poor and slow. 
  • Unfortunately, Microsoft just doesn't feel like there is a need for a third wireless carrier ;)
  • Great video. I like how there's a palpable tension from Dan and back from Joe like a tacit arrangement to circumvent talking about the Andromeda device, but how they are somehow both referring to it.
    I think pretty soon there will be amazing new things coming from Microsoft. That Andromeda device will be one, or will come eventually, but with how Windows works today, and how it's evolving in front of our very eyes, together with technology like Windows on Arm and what comes from the Intel/Radeon partnership, etc, there will come a new age of mobile devices that get us beyond today's use paradigm.
  • Yeah, I wondered if Dan had to promise to not mention phones before Joe would agree to an interview!
  • There aren't any phones to mention.
  • Yeah, going through all that trouble interviewing Joe and not ask him about Surface Fold! Shyness or Prearranged?
  • If you think a Microsoft executive would comment either way on rumor or speculation you have no idea how this industry works.
  • No, I don't think so, that's why I wrote that none of them would talk about it.
  • Yeah, he's excited about Apple and Android because that's where Microsoft's future is according to them because that's where the marketshare is. Well if Android felt like, o oh Apple had mobile locked up, we might as well avoid mobile they would never be the force they are in mobile now.
    Because we focused on the PC so much we'll eventually be left behind in the mobile revolution! Suddenly it's okay for people to carry around large computers but even they were taking pictures with iPads they were criticized and made fun of.
  • So, if they are focusing on creators...why is the file system still geared towards small documents, and for spinning hard disks?  Why doesn't Microsoft have any tools themselves for creators?  Why choose Windows over a Mac if you are a creator?  That's a really tough question Microsoft cannot currently answer.  Nothing in this update surpasses macOS for media creation or manipulation.  It's time to stop playing catch up to 5 years ago...
  • " Why choose Windows over a Mac if you are a creator? That's a really tough question Microsoft cannot currently answer."
    You don't think the the whole pen/inking/drawing and 3D image making stuff relates to creators? Touch screens? What about Photos app and what was known as Story Remix so that people can make mini movies with animations and music? Companies like Adobe and many of the image editors are already doing a great job for Windows. You're seeing more photographers and video people go to these devices over Mac due to ports and SD cards still being heavily used.
  • Everything in the CU and FCU is not for creators but for kids. Real pro artists (and creators) usually use macOS and everybody on the planet knows that, so why pretend.
  • I'm a creator as a professional (industrial 2d/3d cad and cnc, plc) and as a hobby (3d, music, video, programing) and always worked with pc windows. And you find that industrial tools are dedicated systems or pc windows. And for automotive industry are windows based too, and all professional tools I have for diagnose car (obd-multi osc) there are all from all car brands for pc windows.
    So mac is more for music, video and animation (aka for fun). Windows is very more than that
  • @predok,  Windows based systems are jetting past mac in the "fun" sectors too.  I only use windows for my video, music and anamation creation.   As well as photo, CNC work etc.   Just a much better platform for all of it!   I just picked up a new dell touchscreen for my setup and it's AWESOME.  I ditched mac twice because it's so backwards and complicated to use.  
  • Well, to be completely honest, you need to also consider the question "Why choose Mac over Windows if you are a creator?". There are likely good reasons pro and con for each question that can only be answered from your individual requirements. I do think Apple recognizes that Mac/OSX is existing in its own "XP" moment right now and they're unsure of what, where, and how to transition it.
  • "I do think Apple recognizes that Mac/OSX is existing in its own "XP" moment right now and they're unsure of what, where, and how to transition it."
    That's an excellent way of putting it. macOS is in a very weird state right now that's just sort of maintaining without innovating. There's been no recent additions to the OS that aid or help creators.
  • Looking forward to more of these!
  • This guy was partly responsible for destroying Windows Phone. Don't give him the time of day.
  • The market was responsible for killing WP. It couldn't possibly grown to be a success because it arrived late to a locked market. It's sad but everything else is speculation.
  • it doesn't matter that it arrived late.  the problem was that every single revision of the OS meant throw your old unsupported phone away, and buy a new one.   Developers were also expected to rewrite their apps over and over again, there came a point where it wasn't profitable for them to rewrite their app in a whole different language because MS kept chaning the supported languages just to sell a couple licenses
  • I'm pretty sure Joe was one of the ones fighting for Windows 10 mobile even as Microsoft top brass was actively shuttering the windows around him. It wasn't until after he left, that they finally gave up.
  • You're funny. Know who killed it? People who bought other phones.
  • " Richard Devine   You're funny. Know who killed it? People who bought other phones." - Guess WHY they went and bought other phones?
  • When he appeared to announce window phone for the first time, he looked young but now he look getting old. It was sad for me to see window phone's death but I hope Joe learned a lesson from window phone's failure and which will get him to develop windows 10 better way.
  • I was actually expecting to hear in the out-takes "Look, not a single Windows Phone question". But I bet you talked about it off-camera.
  • The beard is spot on.
  • Kinect 3 confirmed.
    It will require a revolutionary title alongside it...
    Half life 3 confirmed
  • How do all of these MS people give the same kind of evasive answers? "enabling people...empowering people...blah blah blah..."
  • ikr
  • @mixiegrinder, It's is part of the corporate babble at MS.  Most every larger company has what I like to call "bull **** Jargon".  The words and catch phrazes that everyone in the company uses to try to seem...I don't know...important,  smart,  or "trend setting".    It's all just verbal diarreha however.  I have worked in places that customer paradigms, forward think shifts and more...BLAH BLAH BLAH.  I used to call out the managers and say...enough with the yap....what about results.   They would just start yammering on again about this and that.  I am results driven...I guess thats why I don't cut it in the "corporate" world and excel in the entrepenurial world.  I work to get things done,  provide service and products and cut out the bull crap yap!   My businesses are successful because of this.  I don't have meetings to discuss shifts in the construction paradigm,  I have meetings to discuss how to make money and profit in changing ways of know,  Normal English....I guess,  in corporate business if you do not know something you baffle with bull ****.
  • I believe the phrase you're looking for is.... If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with bullshit.
  • Until they get a John Legere running their marketing team instead of a Sheldon Cooper...none of it matters.
  • @dalascby,  NOPE...not Sheldon Cooper,  more like Stuart Bloom!
  • I am using Microsoft products less and less... Only use my Xbox at home... PC at work... Android for everything else having been forced away from Windows Phone... Now have Nest products, Philips Hue etc... Apps for everything... MS will be business only going forward... They haven't a clue about the future of tech...
  • @Grungni,  Agreed.   I am hanging on to my PC for the time being.  I will be getting a new pixelbook to try however since thats where consumer is moving.   I hope I don't need to ditch my PCs,  I love how windows 10 is working right now.   However,  the move (paradigm shift-for those corporate mouthbreeders) to Business, may very well drive consumer completely away from windows based products.  
  • I actually have a Nest and Philips Hue and realized that third party app such as hueDynamic and Huetro are actually much better than original app on my android tablet. If you are honest in your comment I really invite you to at least look at them in the store. I really enjoy using these apps from all my Win 10 devices including the Xbox One
  • Make typing on a tablet easier? Surely he meant that brain device would make typing on a hololens easier. Or surface phone easier. We live in a post tablet world now ;). 
  • I'm still unsure why they haven't activated the dictation button in tablet mode.
  • Is there anyway the Desktop will return to popularity? I still love my desktop for reading, obviously games, and for use over long periods.  I love that WhatsApp has a desktop verision and like the concept of apps on a desktop.  Desktop you could pop a SIM into....think that will ever happen?  Pop it out, throw it in my phone?  Thoughts?   Mr. V
  • Great Idea Dan.  I liked it when the interview was mixed with images of the actual products that Joe was talking about. It seems that microsoft is really being focused on pushing mixed reality and I think it's going to be the future as well.  As more people try it out and it becomes more affordable it will keep gaining traction.   However it will most likely not ever be as big as some people think.  I think too many people want iPhone like adaptation for everything and unjustly measure a new products success that way.  Mixed reality can find it's own success among creative people and those exploring new ways to use tech for now and see where it all goes from there.
  • You could have at least asked him a phone question. 
  • Seems that the word ''phone'' is forbidden ...
  • Probably it was off the record. At this point it wouldn't be that useful; at least Joe showed the face and told the situation.
  • Heres my question: How long before MS starts sliding into the "Nokia poo" given the arrogance with which it ditched it's mobile users, pushed them openly into the arms of a serious opponent en given the way Win 10 on PC's stumbles along with many upgrades and not one without visible and irritating bugs? And I am not an Apple fanboi. I amd a DECADES long user of MS operating systems.
  • Nutella let a VP take a year off? Is tnis serious or fake news? What responsible, competant CEO would let that happen in an era when change happens so quickly? This is indicative of a CEO who still thinks that the world is moving at 1960 speed and also explains why MS lost the phone wars. They simply do not understand the marketplace and this fish is definitely rotting from the head.
  • how about asking him of MS's pathetic and respectless behavior towards everyone?? about the never ending lies and about that mediocre windows 10 mobile? not that the desktop one would be any better...
  • The beard makes you look like a human and not an alien doing a human impression. If only it would screen out the drivel that comes out of your mouth when you talk about things you are uninformed about...